Ebino Kogen Campground

Staying in Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park

By Tristan Scholze   Mar 15, 2014 - 3 min read

A fantastic base to explore the natural wonders of Kirishima, this large and alluring campground spreads out over hills and under a sea of Japanese red pine. Being a national park, costs are low and the facilities are very good. Choose from tent camping or wood cabins and even picnic areas if you’re not staying the night.

This beautiful area in Ebino Kogen, a plateau, is at an elevation of about 1,200 m (3,937 ft) and stays cool even during Kyushu’s sweltering summer, averaging 24 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) in July and having few bothersome insects.

The campground is within a ten-minute walk to the Ebino Kogen Museum Center, which has a visitor’s center, gift shop, and outdoor footbath. From the pay parking lot there, you’ll find the trailhead for the Ikemuguri Nature Hike. This trail ventures through forested mountainsides, visits a few volcanic lakes (Byakushi, Rokukannon, and Fudo ponds), and returns—unless you want to continue up Mt. Io, across the Susuki Plain, and onto the slopes of Mt. Karakuni and beyond to the other volcanoes of the park. Across the street from the parking lot is a large hotel and onsen.

Rates for staying the night at the campground are seasonal. Cabins range from 1,600 yen for adults to 9,300 yen for a cabin fitting 5 in summer. The largest cabin sleeps 24. Tent camping starts at 1,100 yen.

Tent sites are plentiful. Many spaces have elevated wooden platforms to keep your tent high and dry. Carts are available for free near the parking lot to carry your equipment up the smooth footpaths to where you’ll be staying.

Facilities include very clean wheelchair accessible bathrooms in the tent areas. There are also shelters with washing, food prep, and cooking spaces. There are small cooking fireplaces in the tent sites and special areas for bonfires. The camp store has tents for rent, bedding, firewood, pots, barbecue sets, and other equipment. Small foodstuffs may be available here, but no meat, fish, or fresh vegetables. Vending machines for drinks are located at the Central Lodge.

There’s also even an onsen available inside the campground, open in the afternoon from 2 to 8 pm. The water is especially good for muscle, joint, and nerve pain, sprains, bruises, burns, and several other maladies. A large field here has a picnic area and an outdoor stage. Near the field is an outdoor skating rink, popular in winter.

Although the open season is longer than most campgrounds in Japan, it’s closed from November to mid-December, and from mid-January through March.

Being in a national park, there are animals here—mostly deer and birds. You may hear the sounds of creatures calling out at night—eerily beautiful, but non-threatening. Enjoy your stay!

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Tristan Scholze

Tristan Scholze @Tristan Scholze

I'm also known as Faer Out. I love learning about people and nature all around the world. I've traveled throughout Japan and visited some 40 countries on 5 continents and hope to continue seeing and experiencing the wonder of this planet as long as I live.Based in Japan for nearly two decades, I'm the Regional Partner here for Fukuoka and Saga Prefectures. In addition to my work at JapanTravel, I have a language school called Rainbow Bridges English Academy in Fukuoka and am very interested in teaching, languages, communication, and photography, among other things. This October, I was a guest host on NHK World's J-Trip Plan, Caving Adventures in Western Japan.I love heading downtown to meet up with friends for a night out as well as being able to hop on my motorcycle and be riding through forest-covered mountains or to sandy beaches in 20 minutes. This area is very photogenic and even after years of exploration, there are still plenty of places to discover each weekend! My photographs are available for purchase on iStock, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime or by contacting me.Please contact me if you have any questions about travel in Japan. I'd also be grateful for any follows on social media!

Join the discussion

Amanda Callander 4 years ago
Cheers Tristan! Sounds great!
Tristan Scholze Author 4 years ago
The hikes near the campground are pretty easy, namely the Ikemeguri Nature Trail going through forests and around 3 volcanic crater lakes, with preschool-aged children skipping happily along the trail. The hike up Mt. Karakuni was more challenging, though still accessible to beginners and kids. Beyond Mt. Karakuni, there are many long trails exploring the park. Some of those require a full day or even longer.
Amanda Callander 4 years ago
Sounds amazing! I love the idea of staying in a cabin - much more practical than bringing a whole lot of camping gear with you.

Are the hikes something that you could do yourself, or would you need to be an experienced hiker?
Larry Knipfing 4 years ago
Can't think of a better way to camp. And in amongst volcanoes. Wow!